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I Really Need CBD Brands to Stop Lying to Me About Period Cramps

I was scrolling through my emails recently, exorcising spam, when one subject line caught my eye: “CBD for PMS? Hallelujah! .” The hemp company’s newsletter could not have been more on point—I was smack dab in the middle of one of my most painful periods to date. I opened the email, and my heating pad slipped as I shifted to the edge of my seat.

Could this really be the magical answer to the burning ball of fiery knives inside my uterus? I thought.

The newsletter was riddled with seemingly relatable Friends GIFs, clever alliterations, and marketing buzzwords to get the reader to buy, buy, buy! “PMS Pain Be Gone!” it read. But what it didn’t have was products that have been proven to—in any way, shape, or form—actually minimize excruciating period cramps.

I was floored. Not just as someone with intense period pain due to endometriosis, but also as a C-suite-level marketing professional. I couldn’t tell what was worse, the cramps in my uterus or the knife in my back.

One of the products was a patch with only 15 mg of CBD, also called cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis that does not produce a high. Using that to try to manage my pain would be like putting a Band-Aid on a gushing head wound. How do I know this? For starters, I typically consume between 30 mg and 50 mg of CBD in a single dose when I’m taking it to manage my pain. And as much as I feel CBD assists me in my pain management, it’s not my cure-all. I could replace my blood with CBD oil and I would still have intense cramps. If something has only 15 mg of CBD, I don’t have to try it to know it’s not going to cure my PMS. Not to mention, there’s just no science or regulation behind these claims.

I quickly grabbed my phone and did what all opinionated millennial women do: rant on social media. Messages immediately poured in. I was not alone. Other women had similar experiences with the new wave of CBD products. Screenshots of high-end packaging and their ingredient labels flooded my DMs. Once again, I was taken aback by the prices, claims, ingredients, and minimal CBD contents.

If a product hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the brand behind that product cannot legally claim it will cure any ailment. From the FDA itself: ”Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process, and there has been no FDA evaluation regarding whether they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease, what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.”

This is an incredibly personal issue for me because my periods are definitely not normal. I received my official endometriosis diagnosis after a laparoscopy in the summer of 2015. I have been working ever since to manage the painful, frustrating symptoms, which I’ve dealt with unofficially for over a decade. Traditional painkillers barely scratch the surface of my pain, and I had trouble getting doctors to take my level of pain seriously.

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Up until my surgery, I was subjected to bouts of extreme discomfort and frequent UTIs. Sex was painful, and sometimes I would bleed during or after. I developed depression and anxiety while going through these unsuccessful battles with an ever-growing list of symptoms that went undiagnosed for years. I was opposed to opioid use and searched for an alternative. Not only do I understand the allure of using cannabis for period paid—I do it myself, and I find that some products really do help.

I didn’t know about CBD until I moved to California in 2017 and was shown a world of wonders (and snake oil), much of which is targeted toward women. Beauty products, supplements, and pain management aids were all labeled with “CBD” seemingly overnight. Even in California, where cannabis is legal, it isn’t regulated or FDA-approved the same way that prescription drugs are. So labels can still be inaccurate, which makes it difficult to know if you’re actually getting the dose you think you are.

Personally, I have found benefits from using CBD, and I find the best results when using CBD with THC products. That makes sense, according to a 2017 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which found that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that cannabis—not CBD on its own—is effective at treating chronic pain. (But not specifically pain due to PMS or endometriosis.)

I particularly gravitate toward tinctures and gummies that have a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD (meaning they contain the same amount of both compounds) when I’m dealing with tougher days or trying to sleep. I rely on trustworthy products and brands because my well-being can’t afford anything less. I’ve also made other healthful changes in my life that have helped me manage my symptoms, like finding other supplements that work for me, getting an IUD, changing my eating habits, and working out more. CBD and cannabis aided my journey of health and self-growth.

But I’m tired of brands and headlines making CBD out to be a miracle supplement that will rid you of anxiety, stress, tension, pain, acne, inflammation, PMS—the list goes on. The reality is that people do report that cannabidiol helps them, and I would never want to diminish CBD for those who receive benefits from it. But we have to be careful about the claims we make about these substances—especially when those claims are about treating serious, chronic conditions.

When I see brands push these products to unsuspecting women, I can’t help but feel a mix of anger, sadness, and loss of hope for a real solution. Women already go through insurmountable pain with few options and skeptical doctors. When we find something that we think works, we need to know that we can consistently trust it. But right now, we don’t have that for CBD.

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More than ever, it’s on us, the consumers, to be discerning—and to make sure we’re having honest, reasonable discussions about what we’re experiencing, whether or not our treatments are working, and when it’s appropriate to try something new with open-minded medical professionals. Those conversations are crucial to help you figure out exactly what your needs are and what you can really expect from a possible treatment—especially when it comes to CBD.

8 Ways To Try CBD For Period Pain Relief

We’re guessing you’re here because, unlike the lucky few whose periods pass them by with little trials and tribulations, your menstrual cycle can be somewhat draining.

CBD may help reduce unpleasant period-related symptoms such as cramping, nausea and anxiety. If you’d like to give it a try yourself (in addition to the obligatory hot water bottle and tub of non-dairy Ben and Jerry’s, of course) we’ve highlighted eight ways in which the Good Hemp community has used CBD for period pain relief.

1. Adding Drops to Your Drink

Good Hemp’s pure CBD oil happens to be the perfect natural remedy for period pain. And you can feel good using it, too! As you know, we only use CBD isolate that’s extracted from 100% non-GMO hemp and is produced without any unwanted nasties or chemicals involved. Since our carrier, hemp seed oil , is high in omega 3 fatty acids but low in saturated fat, it’s also one of the healthiest CBD oils available in the UK.

A few drops of this potion can help alleviate cramps by reducing inflammation, which is the root cause of pain. Consider yourself a mixologist? Our original , citrus and peppermint-flavoured CBD oil drops make a great addition to your morning coffee, anti-PMS smoothies or even that well-earned after-work mocktail.

2. Applied topically

If you’re not a fan of the taste of CBD, you can also add our pure CBD oils to topical rubs or balms that you can massage directly into the skin. This is a popular option if you wish to soothe any achy areas that are causing discomfort during your period – such as your abdomen, groin or lower back – as it gets to work directly on the affected area. CBD can also help you say goodbye to your hormonal acne, as it is great at reducing sebum production, one of the main causes of acne. Just add a couple of drops into your moisturiser and apply (remember to cleanse first!)

3. In a Warm Bath

In addition to research suggesting that CBD can moisturise and heal the skin, drawing a CBD-infused bath can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation to your womb, resulting in less period pain. Add some drops of CBD oil to your bath along with soothing essential oils and fragrances, light a few candles and press play on your favourite Spotify playlist. Your womb will thank you later.

4. In Chocolate Brownies

What if we told you it’s possible to ease your chocolate cravings and ease period pain at the same time? There are plenty of indulgent recipes available for CBD-infused chocolate goodness – why not try adding a few drops of pure CBD oil to our mouthwatering hemp brownie balls or omega 3-rich hemp protein brownies ? You’ll have a tasty AF snack and period pain relief all rolled into one bite.

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5. As a Suppository

CBD suppositories are small, round or cone-shaped objects that you can insert into your vagina, where they dissolve and release CBD oil which is then absorbed by the body. CBD suppositories are super effective for period pain relief as they allow the CBD to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream instead of working their way through the gastrointestinal tract first.

Fun fact: did you know that the pelvic region has one of the highest concentrations of cannabinoid receptors ? Another reason why inserting CBD suppositories is one of the most effective ways of CBD intake, especially for targeted period pain relief.

6. In a Tampon

Similarly, CBD tampons are brilliant for period pain relief. When inserted, they activate the cannabinoid receptors in our vagina, reducing the inflammation that causes menstrual pain.

At Good Hemp, we’re a big fan of Daye ’s CBD-infused tampons. They come in sustainable packaging, are sanitised for safety, and give you the right dose of CBD where you need it. This is how Daye cares for you as well as for the environment – a combination we love .

7. By Vaping

Another efficient way to get CBD into your bloodstream is to inhale it. If you need quick pain relief, using a vape pen is a great alternative to other methods – you’ll start to feel all the benefits in seconds. When you inhale CBD it’s absorbed into your entire body, instead of one targeted area – this means you’ll get to experience all the benefits of CBD , including its stress and anxiety-relieving properties.

Before trying this method, be sure you purchase high quality cartridges that are “solvent free” to reduce risk of vaping contamination, or ask your doctor to recommend a calibrated vaporiser, which will help you accurately control the dose of CBD you’re taking.

8. In a Lube

Because just because we’re on our period, doesn’t mean we don’t want to have fun! CBD can help you enjoy sex more when you’re on your period by reducing tension in the pelvic floor and relieving pain from cramps or penetration. A few sexier benefits (you’ll be pleased to know) can include increased sensitivity, relaxation – which can lead to stronger orgasms! – and in some cases, a boost to your sex drive. Let’s go!

Conclusion

If your time of the month is pretty pants, we hope that these natural period pain relief methods using pure CBD oil will make it a bit better – whether you want to sip it, soak in it or, well, have sex with it!

Disclaimer: CBD oil might not be enough to relieve severe period pain or endometriosis pain. If you need more severe pain relief, please talk to your doctor.